FAN coordinates a statewide network of volunteer advocates and faith communities with the help of a small staff that manages programming and operations. We employ a Co-Director model since we value collaboration, and we build the staff team through full-time and contract positions, part-time event support, and internships through faith-based and university programs. Learn more about our team below, and feel free to reach out to them to get involved!

Rev. Paul Benz, Co-Director, is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He served as director of the Lutheran Public Policy Office of Washington previous to his role at Faith Action Network. Paul has been a long time social justice leader in Washington state’s religious community on numerous issues, and he continues to advocate for FAN’s legislative agenda in Olympia. He is the lead organizer for FAN’s growing Network of Advocating Faith Communities, which have pledged to partner with FAN to be advocates in the halls of power.

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Elise DeGooyer, Co-Director, brings to FAN three decades of experience in mission-driven work in human services and advocacy. She is a lifelong resident of Washington State, born and raised in Yakima, completing undergraduate education in Spokane at Gonzaga University, and making Seattle home since the 1980s. Her graduate studies at Maryknoll School of Theology and Seattle University focused on liberation theologies and pastoral leadership. At Northwest Harvest she helped shape advocacy initiatives on hunger and poverty issues in collaboration with constituencies statewide. She is the lead for Administration and Finance, while sharing oversight of the organization’s mission with Paul.

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Tara MillerBerry, Administrative and Development Coordinator, grew up in the South and found her way to Seattle through the Global Mission Fellows program of the United Methodist Church. She worked at Mary’s Place for five years, helping grow their volunteer program and managing shelters for families experiencing homelessness. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Psychology with a Biology minor, and has a Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry. She is passionate about creating a world where all may not only survive but thrive, recognizing that every justice issue is intricately connected to another.

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Kevin Holtz joins FAN as a social work practicum intern through the Masters of Social Work program at the University of Washington. Kevin grew up primarily in Wisconsin, graduated from Judson University near Chicago with a degree in Christian Theology, and later moved to the Seattle area. In Seattle, he has worked at Community Psychiatric Clinic for over two years, overseeing their housing programs for homeless individuals. Kevin is excited to work to end oppression with a vision of a just and free world.

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Census 2020 Equity Outreach Team

Jim CastroLang: FAN Board Member, Spokane resident and pastor of Colville United Church of Christ, will be working with the Fig Tree on a grant to do census outreach to faith communities in Spokane county and beyond.

Elizabeth Dickinson: Longtime FAN supporter, member of University Congregational UCC and the Justice Leadership Program, will include South King County, the Puget Sound region, and some coordination from the FAN office in her outreach.

Alex Mandujano: Resident of Ellensburg, will provide outreach in Spanish-speaking faith communities in Kittitas, Grant, and Yakima counties.

Zahra Roach: Resident of the Tri-Cities and newly-elected member of Pasco City Council, will be reaching out to the mid-Columbia region (Benton-Franklin, Walla Walla, and Yakima counties) and the Muslim, Sikh, and Buddhist communities.

Kendell Tylee: Seattle resident also working with Washington Nonprofits on the census, will reach out in the Puget Sound area, Clallam County and beyond.